Silicon Valley Self Regulation

Story Five

Management team overlooks legal details

 
andrew-neel-218073 copy.jpg
 

Silicon Valley is unique in its focus on building innovative products. This focus can present challenges for the formalization of business structures, as the specific details of equity allocation and other organizational questions are often left to legal staff whilst founders and employees are preoccupied with perfecting their product. Imagine a company, JalStore, that is building breakthrough technology for space elevators. The company's management team is lazer focused on building cutting edge technology and doesn't pay as much attention to establishing a formal review process for business standards, carefully reviewing legal documentation, and going through the detailed line items in their employee agreements. After eight months, an employee leaves the company, and writes an article that suggests JalStore harms employees through predatory employment agreements and publicly assigns responsibility to JalStore's management. JalStore's management only learn of the three particular line items their legal team had written into the contract that are now the engine behind the controversy once this story is published. If we are to truly hold actors accountable, how can we avoid such instances occurring?